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Mike Smith Talks Defensive Woes

Smith dissapointed, but hopeful with his young defense

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Minicamp Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are fresh off of the bye week and are preparing to face their division rival Atlanta Falcons.

There were rumblings from fans and members of the media that firing Defensive coordinator Mike Smith after the Chicago game might have been the team’s best decision moving forward. It’s hard to argue against that, as the Buccaneers are once again considered the worst defense in the NFL this season and possibly through four games, the worst in NFL history.

Ultimately, Head coach Dirk Koetter made it clear that the problems with the defense are more than just Mike Smith, so he decided against firing him. Let’s be honest, no guy right now within the Buccaneers organization could come in and fix this defense overnight. It just wasn’t going to happen that way.

The Falcons are off to a 1-4 start this season, but make no mistake, their offense is still extremely dangerous and will pick Tampa Bay apart on Sunday if adjustments aren’t made from the first four games, but more specifically Chicago.

The bye week came at a perfect time for Tampa Bay. A lot of times, teams don’t enjoy the early bye week, but after the Chicago game, this team needed nothing more than a week off. Smith attested to that during his Wednesday press conference.

After the performance in the first half against Chicago, it literally felt like we were watching a pop warner football team play defense. The Bears did whatever they wanted on nearly ever play to the tune of 5 Mitchell Trubisky touchdown passes in the first half. Mike Smith made it clear that it isn’t the end of the world.

“The sky is not falling, I can assure you, it felt like it was crumbling on top of us when we walked off the field in Chicago,” Smith said. That’s an anomaly and as a defense we are committed together to right that ship and not play football like we played there.”

The bye week came at a perfect time for Tampa Bay. A lot of times, teams don’t enjoy the early bye week, but after the Chicago game, this team needed nothing more than a week off. Smith attested to that during his Wednesday press conference.

“Bye weeks are a time to set the pause button and when your able to set the pause button your able to look back and collaborate where your at,” Smith said.

There really hasn’t been many bright sports through the first four games for this Buccaneers defense, but the one player who stands out every week and every snap has been Jason Pierre-Paul. Give credit where credits due, Jason Licht did a fabulous job getting one of the best defensive ends in football for just a third-round pick.

“Jason is such a competitive guy. We want to have a rotation, but it’s hard to get him off the field because he wants to play every snap,” Smith said. “It’s just amazing and he’s great with the younger guys, he is a guy who likes to collaborate and talk about things and I think it’s going to help us in the long run.”

Mike Smith needs to make adjustments to this defense and he needs to do it fast. It’s simply unrealistic and unfair to expect the offense to score 30+ every week so you can win football games. If the defense doesn’t drastically improve, not only will Smith be looking for a new job, but Dirk Koetter will also be on his way out the door. It’s on you guys. Make the necessary moves.